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I knew sooner or later the symptoms of menopause would hit me; having reached the dreaded age of 50 a few years ago, my days were numbered, as menopausal symptoms typically wreak havoc on the lives of women between the age of 45 and 55 years.  Unfortunately my mom passed away long before I was interested in discussing menopause and its effects on my body.  I do have two older sisters, but they live so far away that when we do talk (thank heavens for email and facebook) there always seems to be more interesting things to chat about.

Menopause refers to the end of a woman’s fertile stage in life with the cessation of her menstrual cycle.   One year after your last period you are categorized as menopausal.  The perimenopausal stage is before that when the annoying symptoms plague your mind and body, sometimes lasting for years.  From what I have learned from the invaluable internet, menopause affects all women differently, although there are many common symptoms many of us experience.  Common symptoms include fatigue, dry skin, poor concentration ability, erratic periods, weight gain, memory problems, anxiety, hot flashes, depression, decreased sex drive, insomnia and more.

These symptoms are caused by changing hormone levels, so it makes sense that every woman will experience symptoms differently as their hormone levels will recede at different rates. Our ovaries stop producing estradiol and progesterone, the hormones that make reproduction possible.  Testosterone and estrogen levels decrease as well, but fluctuate while decreasing causing the mood swings and hot flashes.  Skipped ovulations caused by depleted ovarian follicles result in erratic periods, excessive clotting and long episodes of spotting.

Apparently many of these symptoms dissipate at the post menopausal stage; something to look forward to as you struggle through the perimenopausal cycle.   So far, the hot flashes I have experienced have been quite enjoyable as I am always cold.  I am looking forward to the increased heat throughout the upcoming cold winter months here in Canada.

Posted in food, health and wellness,

Customized Vitamin and Mineral Cocktails

If you, like me, hesitate to take pills to supplement your diet, consider creating your own customized vitamin and mineral cocktail to get only the benefits you need without the negative side effects .  For years I have found that every pill (including vitamins and medicine ) I take gives me side effects much worse than the benefits.   I would much prefer to get the  vitamins and/or minerals I need in my food from natural sources like fruit and vegetables, instead of supplementing my diet with pills.   As I get older my list of ailments and health issues grows, but I still feel that I would like to treat and/or prevent only these specific issues…

Years ago, I began making breakfast smoothies for my sons to ensure they started their school day off well.  Check out one of my earliest posts:   Their smoothies have evolved over the years to suit their needs, but they still love them and it still gives me comfort knowing they are well on their way to their daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every morning.

I have since started making my own customized vitamin and mineral cocktails.  To find out which ingredients to use, I researched each of my own personal health issues to find out the recommended vitamin and/or mineral.  I then continued the research to find out  the best food source for each of the  vitamins/minerals on my list.  The following chart is customized  for my own ailments and health concerns with the vitamin or mineral and the best food source (suitable for a smoothie) to combat each ailment/concern:


Arthritis ALA (omega 3) Spinach, chia seed, flax seed oil
Quercetin Citrus, green tea, dark cherries/berries
Collagen Nuts, seeds, green tea, red/blue berries, vitamin C, gelatin
Cumin/turmeric Cumin/turmeric/curry powder
Bone density Alkaline minerals Calcium Spinach, thyme, molasses, almond milk, dairy products
Manganese Cloves, dark chocolate
Magnesium Coriander, dark chocolate, almonds
Iron Spinach, molasses
Potassium Spinach, avocado, bananas
Energy Co-Q10 Spinach, avocado, parsley, red/blue berries
Cancer Resveratrol Dark berries, dark chocolate, red grape skins
Quercetin See above
Pterostillbene Blueberries, spinach
Menopause Vitamin D Almond milk, dairy milk
Ginseng Ginseng drops/tea
Phytoestrogens Flax seed oil, dark cherries
Memory & Brain Fog Pterostillbene See above
Resveratrol See above
Omega 3s See above
Immune System Co-Q10 See above
Quercetin see above
Co-ordination Resveratrol See above
Cholesterol Pterostillbene See above
Digestion Alkaline minerals See above
Circulation Co-Q10 See above
Toxin Removal (antioxidants) Alkaline minerals See above

My personal, customized cocktail contains fresh organic baby spinach, chia seed, flax seed oil, lemon juice, green tea, dark cherries, blueberries, almond milk, strawberries, cumin or tumeric, molasses, dark chocolate, coriander and avocado.  I created my own recipe from the researched  ingredients  that I like and have easy access to, but there were many more to choose from.  Research your own needs, pick your favorite ingredients, and whip up your own delicious customized vitamin and mineral cocktail today!



Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other interests include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at